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Lobbyist drops suit against New York Times over McCain story

  • Story Highlights
  • Lawsuit was settled without change to story or payment
  • New York Times wrote article suggesting Vicki Iseman had affair with John McCain
  • A Times' explanation about story will appear in a Note to Readers February 20
  • McCain, advisers said article, unnamed sources showed Times was biased
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From Peter Hamby
CNN Political Producer
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Washington lobbyist Vicki Iseman has dropped her libel suit against The New York Times, the paper announced Thursday.

Lobbyist Vicki Iseman has dropped her libel suit against The New York Times.

Lobbyist Vicki Iseman has dropped her libel suit against The New York Times.

The Times said the paper did not retract the article and that the lawsuit was settled without payment. Instead, the paper will allow Iseman's lawyers to "give their views on the suit" on the paper's Web site.

The lawyers wrote that the negotiation process with the newspaper was "rational" and led to "a civilized resolution."

The defamation suit contended that the Times improperly suggested in a lengthy February 2008 article that Iseman had begun an affair with John McCain in 1999, before McCain undertook his first presidential run. Iseman's lawyers also said the article implied that she unethically profited from her relationship with McCain.

McCain and his advisers used the article and its use of unnamed sources to blast the Times as biased against the then-presidential candidate as he cruised to the Republican nomination.

The two sides issued a joint statement on the paper's Web site stating that "Ms. Iseman has accepted The Times' explanation, which will appear in a Note to Readers to be published in the newspaper on Feb. 20, that the article did not state, and The Times did not intend to conclude, that Ms. Iseman had engaged in a romantic affair with Senator McCain or an unethical relationship on behalf of her clients in breach of the public trust."

The paper quotes Times Executive Editor Bill Keller as saying the lawsuit "was settled without money changing hands, and without The Times backing away from the story."

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